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Daily Short Story Diary - Week 48

Day 329 Nov 24, 2019

THE HOLIDAY MAN by Richard Matheson

The Incredible Shrinking Man – 1994 (story originally published in 1957)

Horror – 4 Pages

Think maybe I’ve read this one before. Then again, prolific writers always repeat vibes eventually, sometimes often. Anyway, this vague little tale leaves just about everything up to the reader’s imagination until the very end, and even then, the reveal is a touch vague in how far reaching the implications are. Quick. Dark. Fun.


Day 330 Nov 25, 2019

YELLVILLE by Judy Budnitz

Flying Leap – 1998

General – 15 Pages

Outrageous. A young woman brings a man home for supper and turns out he’s from a town called Yellville, which is a bit reminiscent of that movie Big Fish. It’s so much fun and dad’s getting pissed and calling this guy a liar, but guy doesn’t care. The ending was a bit soft, but the sum of this one was too fantastic for anything less than a five.


Day 331 Nov 26, 2019

GATOR MOON by Ray Cluley

Probably Monsters – 2015 (story originally published in Crimewave, 2013)

Crime – 11 Pages

Sometimes an author aims at people and places difficult to capture and succeeds. More often, the characters are one-dimensional totems, forced symbols standing in for people. This story is that. It’s almost as if the author read a Lansdale story and on first try to mimic, sold it (to the same editor who buys all his stuff) without having the benefit of further finessing. There’s racism aplenty in this one, which is fine given the setting, but there’s also gratuitous use of the N-word. Once the racism is established, outside of dialogue, using that word becomes redundant and flippant, particularly given the set parameters of the character’s thoughts, the word MAN or HE would’ve been fine.


Day 332 Nov 27, 2019

THE MUSIC ROOM by Stephen King

In Sunlight or in Shadow – 2017

Crime – 5 Pages

This is a revisit. I’d listened to this audiobook and must’ve been sidetracked the few minutes this very short story ran, so now that I have the hardback (very, very nice book), I figured I’d enjoy the story fully. It’s a period story about Great Depression-era serial killers and it uses the morbid juxtaposition of torture against the everyday reading of comics and playing the piano. Perfect pacing and length.


Day 333 Nov 28, 2019


Mad Hatters and March Hares – 2017

General – 14 Pages

I’d started out really liking this one, liking the mock turtle’s character in particular. It’s a bit spoilery, unless I misunderstood the follow through, but Alice is an abuse survivor and created Wonderland and talks with animals as a way to deal. Cool idea, but there’s nothing much going and in the end, Alice tortures the mock turtle without cause.


Day 334 Nov 29, 2019

GRAY MATTER by Stephen King

Night Shift – 1986

Horror – 12 Pages

I can’t stop re-reading stories from Night Shift. I re-read some of these stories three or four times a years. I am an addict. Send help.


Day 335 Nov 30, 2019

LUNCH by Stephen Graham Jones

States of Grace – 2014

General – 1 Page

These stories have a bit of a Carver feel so far. They’re everyday and maybe nothing’s actually happening, but somehow there’s a bit of emotion snuck in and a bit of atmosphere, too.


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